Wilde Lake High School enters national education contest to help fund its library’s mission of inclusion

Wilde Lake High School has entered a national education contest and needs Howard County’s help to win a $5,000 prize to further the school’s mission of having its library shelves stocked with books that represent the student body.

For the past three years, the Columbia high school has been working toward its goal of offering books in the library that look like the students, said Annora Bailey, a school librarian.


“Our biggest goal is to get books that kids see themselves in,” Bailey said.

Books have been added to the library in the past few years based on recommendations from the Student Library Council, which, in return, has increased the number of readers, Bailey said.


By entering the Follett Challenge’s People’s Choice category, Wilde Lake is hoping to win the cash prize to purchase more student-recommended books or to bring in an author to speak. If named a winner, the high school’s Media Center Student Advisory Council will help make decisions on how the money is spent.

For the competition, Wilde Lake students filmed a video, “When I See Myself.” While details about the video are under wraps until it goes live, it expands upon the school’s mission of having books that look like its students. The video goes live Monday, and community members can begin voting for it that same day.

Through Jan. 24, community members can cast one vote per day for the video at

“We hope our community will support us by viewing our video and voting for our submission,” Wilde Lake Principal Marcy Leonard said in a statement.

“Participating in the Follett Challenge recognizes our educators for the great job they are doing and, should we win, reward them with resources to do more.”

Follett Corporation, a global education solutions leader, provides educational materials and technology solutions to classrooms worldwide, including pre-owned textbooks, books, digital resources, ebooks, audiovisuals and reference materials.